Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

Travel and Exploration from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreutje141

Travel and Exploration from Bestebreurtje Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books is entitled Travel & Exploration Including Russia. Actually, it includes a lot more than just Russia. Those living in North America will find a surprising number of books relating to their homeland from this Dutch bookseller. Other books cover journeys to Asia, Africa and South America. Travels of just about any sort can be found in this catalogue. Here are a few samples, with the caveat that we have focused on American material as this writer is far more comfortable describing material written in English than in Dutch.

Item 11 is one of the first comprehensive looks at the American Southwest after the Mexican cession: The Silver Country; or, The Great Southwest. A Review of the Mineral and Other Wealth, the Attractions and Material Development of the Former Kingdom of New Spain... by Alexander Anderson, published in 1877. Anderson focused on silver and mining in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado and Utah, either captured during the Mexican War or obtained as a result of the Gadsden Purchase, though it includes other material such as a description of cattle in Texas. Priced at €175 (euros, or approximately $213 in U.S. dollars).

Next we have a couple of old books about America's Indians, though these titles are not without their critics. Item 47 is The Indian Races of North and South America; comprising An Account of the principal Aboriginal Races... by Charles de Wolf Brownell, published in 1853. It describes numerous tribes, their chiefs, customs, etc., and relations with European settlers. The title states the illustrations "executed in the best style of the art, by the first artists in America." However, Thomas Field, in his 1873 Indian bibliography, counters, "The last half of the title-page must have been written by the publisher, and the illustrations drawn by his infant son, as the Preface and Text indicate too respectable a mind to have concocted such a farrago, involving at least half a dozen falsehoods regarding the plates, which are the most tawdry and offensive daubs." €350 (US $427).

Next we look at the Indian work of William V. Moore (real name John Frost): Indian Wars of the United States, from the Discovery to the Present Time... published circa 1850. For this one, we go to Joseph Sabin's bibliography for the appropriate quote: "This is the first work of its prolific author, if such a term can be applied to a notorious pilferer." Item 235. €225 (US $274).

Robert Ker Porter was an artist, writer, traveler, diplomat and even an accomplished horseman. He was also evidently a very likable fellow, being popular with his associates wherever he traveled. In 1805, he traveled to Russia to serve as an artist for the Czar, his adventures being the source for his book Travelling sketches in Russia and Sweden during the years 1805...1808. While there, he won the heart of a princess. He returned in 1812 to marry his princess. Along the way, he was knighted in Russia and Sweden, and welcomed into an order by a Persian monarch. As well as writing about Russia, he wrote books about Sweden, Spain and Persia, and served as British consul to Venezuela. Item 264 is an 1813 second edition of this book. €2,250 (US $2,755).

Here is a book that suddenly sounds timely, though not for positive reasons. It's the 1943 book The Bayous of Louisiana, inscribed by the author, Harnett Kane. I won't say those were simpler times, as the book was published during the middle of the Second World War, but at least they didn't have to worry about oil in the bayous back then. Item 171. €35 (US $42).

Item 202 is an unusual piece of Americana: Reis door de Vereenigde Staten van Noord-Amerika in de jaren 1824 en 1825, door den Generaal Lafayette. This is the rare Dutch translation of Frenchman Auguste Levasseur's account of General Lafayette's return to America almost half a century after the Revolution. Lafayette, the young French officer who came to America and did so much to help that nation's revolution, soon returned to his native France. He was imprisoned and almost executed during France's revolution, but years later, returned to local politics to become a legislator and strong voice for democratic reforms. In 1824, after his long absence, Lafayette returned to America for a sort of farewell tour. He visited all of the then 24 states, where he was constantly received by huge, adoring crowds, along with virtually all of America's important leaders. That a Dutch language edition of Lafayette's private secretary's account of the Frenchman's visit to America was printed is something of a surprise, but here it is. €450 (US $550).

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books may be reached at +31 (0)347 322 548 or info@gertjanbestebreurtje.com. Their website is www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

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